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Kia Concept EV9 gives a glimpse of an all-electric family crossover

2021 AutoMobility LA / LA Auto Show

The wraps have officially come off the Kia Concept EV9 and it’s a clear glimpse at what’s coming next from the brand’s all-electric offensive. Built on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform, the Concept EV9 is a large crossover featuring the next evolution of Kia’s design language. It features a techie, digital look thanks to LED lighting elements that blend a chrome strip spanning the entire front with little cloudlike patterns that fade out once they get closer to the center and L-shaped daytime running lights. Kia’s new front-end design also adds a new air vent design that reduces frontal mass and improves the crossover’s aerodynamics.

The Kia Concept EV9’s boxy profile gives a sense of the crossover’s family-friendly mission and also adds to it looking like an all-electric Telluride. This is especially apparent in the rear where the EV9’s taillights look like an evolution of the Telluride’s current look. From the side, the car’s proportions highlight the upright greenhouse and gives you a good sense of how big it is. At 194 inches long, 81 inches wide, and 70 inches tall, the Concept EV9 lands right in the middle of the three-row mid-size crossover segment. However, being a battery-electric vehicle, it’s wider than your average entry in that class.

Kia adds several neat tricks to make the Concept EV9 more efficient. The hood area, for example, has solar panels that help recharge the battery. Retractable roof rails make the crossover more aerodynamic, improving its coefficient of drag. The 22-inch alloy wheels were also designed to help the Concept EV9 slip through the wind better thanks to its triangular aero design pieces that control airflow around them.

Quite possibly the biggest highlight in the Concept EV9 is the interior with its lounge-like atmosphere. A panoramic glass roof lets light in to add a more open vibe. On the tech front, the Concept EV9 features a 27-inch display on the dash housing everything from multimedia to climate controls. As with most EVs, the Concept EV9 uses recycled and sustainable materials extensively throughout the interior. The flooring, for instance, is made out of recycled fishnets while the seat upholstery is created out of recycled PET bottles and wool fibers. Vegan leather is also used extensively throughout the cabin. Kia also used this to announce that it’s reducing the amount of animal products used throughout its vehicles.

Kia added three different modes to the Concept EV9, each maximizing the passenger experience. Active Mode ensures the best driving experience for occupants while the vehicle is on the move. Pause mode changes the cabin layout, turning the front seats around so that all occupants can interact with each other. The second row also folds down into a table. Enjoy mode turns all the seats around and opens the tailgate so that passengers can use the vehicle as a lounge and relax.

The only powertrain specifications Kia provided on the Concept EV9 is that it can charge its battery at peak rates of up to 350 kW. That means it can go from 10 to 80 percent in 20 to 30 minutes, hinting at a larger pack than what’s found on the EV6. It can also travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. When the production version of the Kia Concept EV9 arrives, expect it to have two electric motors and AWD as standard to further convey the rugged, adventurous message that the brand has been recently pushing with its crossovers.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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